Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

'Real ID' Act Could Help ID Thieves

Filed under
Security

Security experts have expressed dismay about new legislation that will usher in the nation's first national ID system-citing a lack of confidence in the government's ability to employ the technology in such a way as to prevent citizens from being preyed upon by identity thieves.

The Real ID Act of 2005, added on to the $82 billion Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill, was passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday and is expected to be passed by the Senate next week.

The act was pushed through without hearings or deliberation, over the objections of a coalition of 12 Democratic senators who decried it as a sweeping anti-immigration bill.

Beyond issues of civil liberties, what's disturbing about the imminent passage of the Real ID Act from a technological point of view is that it's being done in spite of the growing popularity of state RMVs (Registries of Motor Vehicles) as targets for identity thieves, experts say.

"My feeling is there's a tremendous amount of activity going on right now around data theft," said Jon Oltsik, an analyst with Enterprise Strategies Group. "The stuff we hear about in the news is dwarfed by the stuff we don't hear about, because people bury it, because they don't want to disclose it. They're praying nothing happens."

The bill dictates that all states collect, at a minimum, personal information from citizens in order to obtain a driver's license, including name, date of birth, gender, driver's license or identification card number, digital photograph, address and signature.

Whereas collection of this particular information is not new, the linkage of states' databases is. The bill specifies that states link what are at present discrete databases, creating, in effect, one nationwide database with personal information pertaining to all citizens.

Even with states' currently discrete, disconnected databases, thieves increasingly have turned their attention to RMVs.

In March, thieves rammed a car through the back wall of a DMV near Las Vegas and stole computer equipment containing personal information on more than 8,900 people. Police in the past month have arrested DMV examiners in Florida and Maryland for selling fake driver's licenses.

Meanwhile, personal information for thousands of Americans has been compromised through the recent rash of scandals around what were considered secure databases residing with data brokers ChoicePoint and Lexis Nexis.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Openwashing

Leftovers: Software

  • Pitivi 0.96 — Cogito Ergo Proxy
  • Pitivi 0.96 Released With Proxy Editing Support
    In addition to proxy editing, Pitivi 0.96 also has timeline changes, transformation box, setting changes, user interface improvements, the start of allowing custom keyboard shortcuts, and support for Flatpak packages.
  • Calamares 2.3 Universal Linux OS Installer Released with Full-Disk Encryption
    Today, June 30, 2016, the Calamares team was proud to announce the final release and immediate availability for download of the Calamares 2.3 distribution-independent system installer. Calamares is currently being used in numerous popular operating systems, including, but not limited to, KaOS, Apricity OS, Chakra GNU/Linux, Netrunner, Sabayon, and OpenMandriva. It is the universal installer framework that many GNU/Linux distributions should adopt as it's now one of the most advanced system installers.
  • etcd3: A new etcd
    Over the past few months, CoreOS has been diligently finalizing the etcd3 API beta, testing the system and working with users to make etcd even better. Today etcd v3.0.0, the distributed key value store developed by CoreOS, is available. In practice, etcd3 is already integrated into a large-scale distributed system, Kubernetes, and we have implemented distributed coordination primitives including distributed locks, elections, and software transactional memory, to ensure the etcd3 API is flexible enough to support a variety of applications. Today we’re proud to announce that etcd3 is ready for general use.
  • Zend Framework 3 Released!
    After 17 months of effort, hundreds of releases, tens of thousands of commits by hundreds of contributors, and millions of installs, we're pleased to announce the immediate availability of Zend Framework 3.
  • ANNOUNCE: virt-viewer 4.0 release
  • Virt-Manager's Virrt-Viewer 4.0 Released

today's howtos

Android Leftovers